A late-night thriller in Bengaluru saw the Bengal Warriors survive a late scare from the Gujarat Giants and win 31-28. Maninder Singh led his side with nine raid points, while all-rounder Rakesh Narwal was the Giants’ top scorer with 12 points.
The first half was a cagey affair, with neither team letting the other pull away on the scoreboard. The defences suffocated the raiders for points, with only Rathan K and Maninder Singh finding success early in the game.
The contest finally came to life almost three-quarters of the way into the first half. The Giants managed to reduce the Warriors down to three through some stout defending, but two quick Super Tackles from Bengal’s defence saw them build a slender lead. The Warriors’ defence added a couple of more points to their team’s tally, while a successful Do-or-die raid from Akash Pikalmunde saw the Giants reduced to just three on players on the mat and trailing by five at halftime.
The Giants managed to resist an All Out courtesy of a couple of raid points and a Super Tackle from their defence. But Mohammad Nabibakhsh came to the fore and broke the Giants’ resistance, helping his side inflict the game’s first All Out.
Trailing by six, the Giants’ defence tried to force the issue, which allowed Maninder and Pikalmunde to pick up a few raid points. But raider Rakesh Narwal kept the deficit within grasp and his side in the game.
Raider Mahendra Rajput came off the bench to provide a late spark as the Giants cut the lead to just two points. With less than a minute left, captain Maninder Singh shouldered the responsibility of winning the game for his side, and he delivered, picking up a raid point that gave the Warriors a three-point cushion.
The Giants continued to try till the final whistle, but it wasn’t to be, as the reigning champions maintained their perfect start to the campaign.
Best Raider – Maninder Singh (8 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Rinku Narwal (3 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Rakesh Narwal (11 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Ravinder Pahal (3 Tackle Points)